Circumcision has a big impact on men’s sexual health and wellness. While some research suggests that the practice of surgically removing the foreskin reduces your risk of STDs, HIV and other infections, circumcision has been suggested to negatively affect your sexual wellbeing; reducing the pleasure you feel during sex. Let’s take a look at some of the questions surrounding circumcision.
1. How does circumcision affect the sensitivity of your penis?
According to Men’s Health Physician and Medical Sex Therapist Dr Vijaysarathi Ramanathan, “Circumcision in infants and youngsters (who’ve never experienced having a foreskin) shouldn’t be much of a problem because they’ve programmed their mind and penis to be sensitive without the foreskin. However, if a person has experience having a foreskin and has to lose it later in life, they may feel it’s different and they are not getting the same pleasure as before.” Dr Ramanathan adds that, for the same reason, there’s nothing to suggest that circumcision makes oral sex any different.
2. Does circumcision prevent or cause STIs?
‘There is some protection against infections but there is still a big debate on whether it adds more benefit than wearing a condom,’ Dr Ramanathan explains. However, he warns that hygiene is a key concern for men who are not circumcised. Dr Ramanathan advises, ‘if they can retract and clean with water, then it shouldn’t make any difference. Remember, cleaning with water is more than adequate and DO NOT use soap as it alters the pH and can cause some fungal infections.’
3. Is there ever a medical reason to get a circumcision?
Dr Ramanthan says that circumcision is only warranted if your foreskin is infected and you’re unable to pass urine, but a routine medical procedure it doesn’t have much value. He adds, ‘The history of circumcision goes long back and one of the key reasons to do circumcision was to discourage boys from masturbating. This was a time when medical professionals were convinced that masturbation is the cause for infections like syphilis and that circumcision is the cure. [This] is now seen as unethical and it breeches the sexual rights of that person. Each individual must be able to make an informed decision whether or not they want to circumcise.’